On June 6, 1944, when D-Day came and the allies landed in France, it looked as if there might be a victory in Europe within several weeks or several months. The ColumbiaBroadcasting System asked its ace writer, Norman Corwin, to discontinue his weekly program, entitled Columbia Presents Corwin, which had about 4 more weeks to run, in order that he could devote himself immediately to the writing of a radio show properly signaling a European victory.
Corwin set to work at once on his V-E Day program, a task whichoccupied him for several months. Elaborate preparations were made for the production of the show either in New York orHollywood, depending on Corwin's whereabouts at the time V-E Day actually occurred. Duplicate scores of the special music (The sond 'Round and 'Round Hitler's Grave, used in this broadcast is by Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers, and is used by kind permission of the copyright owner, Bob Miller, Inc New York.) composed by the CBS conductor, Bernard Hermann, were available on both coasts, as were scripts of the broadcast. The program was therefore ready some two or three months before the Germans surrendered, with the author keeping the script up-to-date as time went on.
The advent of V-E Day found Corwin on the West Coast, where he had just finished broadcasting his hour-long Word From The People, an invocation to the San Francisco Conference.
Martin Gabel already rehearsed the principal part of narrator for On A Note Of Triumph, was flown to Hollywood for the program. The broadcast was put on from Hollywood on the night of V-E Day, Tuesday, May 8, 1945, from 9:00 to 10:00 PM, Eastern War Time.
No radio broadcast in history created such an intense stir, and no program ever received such immediate and overwhelming praise. People of note and just plain everyday listeners phoned, wired, and wrote congratulatory messages. So great was the demand for a repeat broadcast of the show that it was given a second airing on the following Sunday, May 13, from 11:00 to 12:00 PM Eastern War Time. This time the response was even greater. In Los Angeles alone, CBS Station KNX reported a record-breaking flood of more than 1,600 telephone calls, while operators at CBS headquarters in New York remarked that "the switchboard remained lit up like a Christmas tree" following the broadcast.
Recognizing the contribution to posterity that this program had made, Simon and Schuster put On A Note Of Triumph into book form. It became a best-seller overnight, and a week after the repeat broadcast, was in its second edition of 25,000 copies. Reviewing the book in the New York Herald-Tribune, the playwright, Robert E. Sherwood had this to say about the author, producer, and director of On A Note Of Triumph: "Norman Corwin is an authentic phenomenon of the present age. Now thirty-five years od, he is undiubtedly the finest writer developed in radio in the United States -- which probably means in the entire world. Furthermore, he is one of the most eloquent, vigorous and tireless exponents of the cause of liberation. There are not many American writers in any field who have known so accurately or consistently what the score is in the fight against Facism or have worked so well to keep that score running in our favor."
Believing that this program should live on in original form and not be lost on the evaporating air waves, the Columbia Recording Corporation has recorded the repeat broadcast of On A Note Of Triumph in its entirety, with the hope that it will stand as a monument to those who are carrying on the fight for freedom and as a symbol of the power of the spoken word.
March 26, 2018 Subject:
So far so good
Haven't listened to entire thing yet- sounds good, but the audio seems like it's been compressed too much, that is, I wish it were in FLAC or wasn't so "crammed" into a file size that appears to have caused a loss in the very highs, lows. Either that or it was what they call "cleaned up" using some software.
The content itself I am glad it is archived. All these things are part of US history and should be.